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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 December, 2003, 14:20 GMT
Funny old year
By Chris Charles

Martin Keown and Jonny Wilkinson
You think you're good do you, Jonny?

Kylie Minogue, Sir Les Patterson, Rolf Harris, Dame Edna Everage - your boys took a hell of a beating.

This was the year the Empire struck back - conveniently forgetting that the Aussies tonked England at cricket, tennis, rugby league and even (gasp) football.

The Queen politely congratulated both her countries on a nail-biting final, but rumour has it she was spotted in Boots this week inquiring about the price of a Wilkinson Sword. Watch this space.


FOOTBALL

While the egg-chasers were elevated to superstar status, all football could produce was a bunch of silly oeufs.

FOOTBALL CRAZIES

Rio Ferdinand popped out to Harvey Nicks after misreading an entry in his diary as: rugs, vest - and poor old Mark Bosnich won't be seeing any white lines for a while (not the ones in the penalty box, at any rate).

David Beckham found a new best mate in Jonny Wilkinson, but it was Sir Alex Ferguson who gave him the order of the boot - right between the eyes.

The canny Scot picked up another league title and had a moan at Uefa for 'fixing draws' - something Peter Reid might find himself doing if he can't get another job in football.

While Beckham quickly established himself as the Real deal, United resumed old hostilities with Arsenal, resulting in several Gooners having their handbags confiscated.

Fergie gave his star striker some sugar lumps and a carrot as a reward. Ruud not to, really.

Both clubs have been looking nervously over their shoulder at the flash Harrys in the King's Road. The Roman empire is taking shape, leaving a clutch of world superstars doing a David Blaine - hanging around London with nothing to do.


CRICKET:

While Freddie Flintoff was having a smashing time, Nasser Hussain gave way to Michael Vaughan and Darren Gough was replaced by 325 bowlers in a Tinkerman-style rotation policy.

Australia predictably won the World Cup, even without Shane Warne, who had one shake for breakfast, one for lunch and a handful of his mum's slimming pills for tea.


Tim Henman
I can do it - I can!

TENNIS:

Tim Henman finally won a big tournament - although not the one that really mattered (naturally) and Greg Rusedski threw in the sweat-sodden towel following an obscene display at Wimbledon.

The LTA are considering renaming Wimbledon the Fed Cup in honour of the person who's going to win the men's title for the next 10 years, and our Davis Cup heroes were beaten by the Vatican City under-15s, leaving them to face a lifetime of obscurity in the Isle of Man round-robin event.


SNOOKER:

Paul Hunter and Ronnie O'Sullivan visited the 'Buy an Alice band, get one free' section in Woolies, while Ronnie announced he was a Muslim/wasn't a Muslim/was quitting/wasn't quitting.

Meanwhile, Jimmy White finally won a world title (in poker) and celebrated by recording a single containing the immortal line: "I'm going for a curry and ten pints of beer."


BEST OF THE REST:

Jockeys were told they could no longer use their mobile phones coming down the home straight and our top sprinter's career was in danger of going down the Dwain.

In golf, Annika Sorenstam came out to play and Vijay Singh ran away, while Ben Curtis went back to shelf-stacking after springing a Major surprise.

Paula Radcliffe picked up more records than Fatboy Slim, Phil Taylor was left looking like a spare Part in the arrers and Michael Schumacher is considering joining the Mini Metro team next season to give the rest a chance.

So that's nearly it for another sport-filled year. It's been emotional. Wilko and out.



Links to more Sports Review 2003 stories


 

SPORTS REVIEW 2003

SPORT BY SPORT
 

FUNNY OLD YEAR

FAREWELL TO...

SPORTS QUIZ 2003
 

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